Dr. Pimple Popper treated a man with bubbling grape-sized nose growths that prevented him from breathing easily

Hollis Johnson/InsiderDr. Sandra Lee is also known as Dr. Pimple Popper.

Editor’s note: This post contains graphic images and descriptions of dermatological conditions.

  • During this week’s episode of “Dr. Pimple Popper,” the dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee helped a man who had trouble breathing because of his grape-sized nose growths.
  • Tony, 55, said they had been growing for five years and that other doctors said they had no way to help him.
  • Lee diagnosed Tony with a rhinophyma, a benign tumour that can appear bumpy and red.
  • To remove the growths, Lee used a heated wire to burn off excess skin and a scalpel to cut them off.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more.

In this week’s episode of the hit TLC show “Dr. Pimple Popper,” the dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee treated a man with potentially life-threatening nose growths that prevented him from breathing.

Tony, a 55-year-old resident of Clinton, Tennessee, had two grape-sized growths dangling from his nose, which had smaller bump-like growths on its tip.

Tony, whose last name wasn’t mentioned, said the growths were often pus-filled and gave off a bad odor “like rancid fish oil.”

The growths started to develop five years ago when Tony began taking heart-health medication. He said that soon after he started the medication, he felt like his nose was bubbling, and then the growths formed and grew quickly.

Eventually, the growths become so heavy that Tony had trouble breathing because they blocked his nose. He said that if he breathed in too hard through his nose, the growths would trap air. To prevent this, Tony breathed lightly or held his growths out of the way to stop himself from suffocating.

Dr pimple popper nose growthsTLC‘This is not the face I want to show in any way,’ Tony said.

At night, Tony wore a breathing mask with a strap that kept his nose growths out of the way. It also pushed air into his nose so he could get oxygen while sleeping. Without the mask, Tony said he wouldn’t get any sleep.

Tony said that over the years he saw multiple doctors in his area but that none was able to give him a solution for his growths.

“No one likes to be told, ‘Oh, you have a condition – good luck with that,'” Tony said.

To cope with the lack of treatment, Tony kept to himself at his thrift-store job by working on projects in the back warehouse where customers couldn’t see his nose. But he was up for a promotion, and the job would require public appearances and face-to-face meetings that make Tony nervous, so he decided to see if Dr. Pimple Popper could help him.

“This is not the face I want to show in any way,” Tony said. “I’m trapped by an awful skin condition.”

Dr. Pimple Popper immediately diagnosed Tony with rhinophyma

Seconds after walking in the examination room to meet Tony, Lee diagnosed him with rhinophyma, a type of noncancerous nose growth that can be bumpy and red or purple, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Some people with severe types of the skin condition rosacea can form these growths or tumours, according to an article in the journal Eplasty, but experts are unsure what causes the condition in people who don’t have rosacea. They do know that rosacea is more common in women, but rhinophyma tends to affect more men than women.

If left untreated, rhinophyma can lead to swelling, burning, or stinging sensations, as well as thickened and bumpy skin.

In Tony’s case, Lee said she could definitely help him, if he didn’t mind having scarring on his nose where she would be cutting off the growths. Tony said he didn’t mind at all.

Tony was nervous, but Lee was able to cut off his growths

“I’m actually nervous about having things actually sliced off my face,” Tony said. “It’s a little bit off-putting.”

To start, Lee numbed Tony’s nose with an injection. Then she used a looped wire tool attached to a machine to burn away the excess skin on the tip of Tony’s nose.

While Lee essentially burned Tony’s skin, her medical assistant held a clear tube nearby to evacuate the smoke from the office.

Lee used a scalpel to cut off Tony’s large nodules on the sides of his nose while taking extra care not to cut Tony’s actual nose. Lastly, Lee “shaped” Tony’s nose using the wire burning tool.

“I feel like I’m unearthing the real nose,” Lee said.

Dr pimple popper nose growthsTLCTony’s nose was growth-free after Lee treated him.

Once finished, Tony’s nose was bloody, but grape-free.

“When I look in the mirror, I see a normal guy and not this freakish blob of a troll-like nose,” Tony said, adding that he finally felt ready to take on his job promotion.

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